By Peter Glenshaw, Dartmouth United Way campaign chair
There are a lot of ways that I could talk about the United Way campaign at Dartmouth.
I could tell you it's Dartmouth's largest and oldest philanthropic initiative for the community, that it was actually started at a campus meeting in 1971 by the then-dean of the Tucker Foundation. I could tell you that the executive director of the Upper Valley United Way, Julia Hadlock, is a 2007 M.S. graduate of Dartmouth's Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.
I could talk about what the United Way means to James and Susan Wright, who have faithfully served and supported the United Way during their many years of leadership at Dartmouth.
I could tell you about how the United Way funds organizations differently today, how they are no longer "member agencies" who belong to the United Way. How the Upper Valley United Way instead acts like a foundation, funding applicants only after a thorough review by a volunteer citizens council.
I could talk about how the Upper Valley United Way offers a value proposition unlike any other nonprofit in this region-how it's able to evaluate what the human needs are in their entirety in this part of Vermont and New Hampshire, while also working directly with these agencies to improve their community impact.
I might even tell you that this year-with the prospect of a long winter and record-high energy prices-the Upper Valley United Way has begun a new fund to help with daily costs and provide the long-term infrastructure improvements that many working people will need this winter. That last year, one in three Upper Valley residents was impacted by a United Way-funded program. Or that the United Way funds successful startup nonprofits like COVER and Willing Hands to meet emerging needs in the Upper Valley.
I could even mention that you can give to any nonprofit in the Upper Valley through the United Way.
But none of these things I could say would have as much impact as realizing that through the United Way, for nearly 40 years, Dartmouth faculty, staff, students, and even retirees have been helping their fellow neighbors. Through its annual campaign, the United Way reminds us that there are people in need in our towns and neighborhoods, and that we can and should find a way to help them.
The United Way is really about three simple things:
It's about living united.
Peter Glenshaw is the director of Community Relations at Dartmouth and is leading the 2008/09 Dartmouth United Way campaign. The Office of Community Relations connects Dartmouth College with Hanover and the Upper Valley in a variety of ways, including encouraging Dartmouth students, faculty, staff, and alumni to participate in the life of the Upper Valley and contribute to its overall well-being.
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Last Updated: 12/17/08